Capital Fringe Preview: ‘The Blind’ by The Wheel Theatre Company

Imagine you are lost and alone in the forest. You have never been here before and you cannot see to find your way out. You don’t know if anyone knows you are missing or if they will be able to find you. It has been hours since you last ate or drank water; your resources are limited. You don’t know if it is night or day, and it is beginning to freeze. What do you do? Do you stay where you are and wait for help to come, or do you risk moving through the unknown without sight?

These are the choices the characters of The Blind are forced to contemplate.

In an extraordinarily dark forest, eight sightless individuals sit in wait for their caretaker’s return. Near them lies a body. Abandoned in the wilderness, they are forced to reckon with the unknown. Written by Symbolist playwright Maurice Maeterlinck in 1890, The Blind remains a timely contemplation on hope and despair, and where we turn when our intuition and reason are engulfed by darkness.

Director and adapter, Jack Read of The Wheel Theatre Company finds The Blind to be the right play to produce in 2017 because of this very idea. As Jack puts it, for so many, it is easy to feel defeated by fear and darkness. The Blind serves as a reminder that hope can exist. Hope bolsters the human spirit in times of despair. To hope is to embrace the unknowable.

 When asked about this unique aspect of the play, Jack explains that “The Blind is a story about true hope – not optimism, which is the belief that things will be okay, but true hope, choosing to continue on a path even when the odds tell you that things will only end in pain. I think that this play is about standing up to fear, confronting life’s inevitable uncertainty and choosing to live.”

The eight lost characters of The Blind serve as nameless, abstract representations of humanity with only the simplest qualities defined (“the one who prays,” for example), rather than clearly-drawn characters. Jack Read chose to portray these characters utilizing neutral masks built for the performers. The neutral mask denotes a state of presence, of existing in and of the moment, and creates a sense of unity. This is Jack’s core approach to the world of The Blind, and the mission of The Wheel – a united ensemble, where every element is as crucial as the rest.This united ensemble includes you – the audience.

So, whether you too are a lost soul searching for hope or simply looking for a suspenseful drama, come see the world of The Blind this summer as a part of the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival presented by The Wheel Theatre Company.

Thursday, July 6 at 10:00 PM

Friday, July 14 at 5:15 PM

Sunday, July 16 at 12:00 PM

Thursday, July 20 at 5:45 PM

Friday, July 21 at 6:15 PM

Saturday, July 22 at 9:30 PM


Online sales end 2 hours before performance, but tickets may be available at venue 45 minutes prior to show.

Eastman Studio Theatre – Gallaudet University

800 Florida Avenue NE

​Washington, DC, 20002

All performances of The Blind will be captioned


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